Diamond Flies New Aerobatic Trainer

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The Diamond DART-550 aerobatic trainer has successfully completed its first flight, the company announced on Thursday. The flight consisted of a short-field takeoff demonstration, several low approaches, system checks and landing gear operation. Pilots Niko Daroussis and Ingmar Mayerbuch were at the controls.

The tandem-seat, carbon fiber DART-550 is powered by a single 550-HP General Electric GE H75-100 turboprop engine that drives a five-bladed MT propeller. Its expected top speed is 247 knots with a maximum takeoff weight of 5,291 pounds. Going somewhat slower than that, the DART-550 can stay in the air for as long as eight hours while still carrying reserves, Diamond says. The aircraft also includes Martin Baker MK16 ejection seats and front-and-back Garmin G3000 integrated avionics systems. Fully equipped, it weighs in at 3,527 pounds empty.

Diamond has said that different engine power ratings, seat configurations and avionics options will be available on the DART-550. It will next be on display at the Farnborough Airshow in Hampshire, UK, from July 16 until July 22, 2018.

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